Islamic ministry officials are unable to confirm if MVR18 million (US$1 million) raised for Rohingya Muslims in September last year was handed over to the Bangladesh Red Crescent.
Citing a reliable source, Mihaaru reported Monday that the money has yet to reach the humanitarian organisation. Islamic Minister Dr Ahmed Ziyad told the press in November that the donations to a nationwide telethon and charity football match would be delivered within a week.
The ministry’s spokesman pleaded ignorance and directed inquiries to a member of the fund’s committee, who claimed he was unauthorised to speak to the media.
The newspaper said it has contacted various government officials to no avail for about two months.
Information officers at the Islamic ministry and foreign ministry were not responding to calls by the Maldives Independent. Islamic Minister Ziyad was also unavailable for a comment.
The Maldives was gripped by media reports about the persecution of the Rohingya ethnic minority, prompting several groups to organise fundraising activities amidst an outpouring of sympathy for the fellow Sunni Muslims.
The private broadcaster Raajje TV raised more than MVR4 million to help Rohingya Muslim refugees fleeing violence in Buddhist-majority Myanmar’s Rakhine state. Marches in solidarity with the Rohingya took place on several islands as the Maldives severed trade relations with Myanmar in protest against “the atrocities being committed against Rohingya Muslims.”